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Analysis: A Question for His Eminence

As everyone knows, The National Herald twice a year publishes special festive inserts, Christmas and Easter, rich in reading material – but also filled with holiday wishes from associations, organizations, businesses, communities, and friends. It is a beautiful way to mark the Incarnation and now for Pascha – the Resurrection – of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is a decades-old tradition, a service to our Community, and at the same time a vehicle for the Community to support its newspaper, especially appreciated during difficult times.

So, when we recently contacted our Holy Archdiocese about this year’s editions, we received an interesting answer from Mr. Stratos Safioleas, Director, Department of Communications of the Archdiocese of America and Senior Advisor to the Archbishop of the Archdiocese – well done with the impressive titles, although he is based – listen, listen! – in Athens!

So Mr. Safioleas’ answer was: “We are placing no ads this Easter, as we are going to send this money from our budget to the GOARCH Ukraine Relief Fund. With many regards.”

In fact, we must admire this response of a representative of the Archdiocese of America.

The Director, Department of Communications of the Archdiocese of America and Senior Advisor to the Archbishop of the Archdiocese – obviously there is some junior staff there holding down the fort for him so far away from his home in Athens – wanted to punish us in this cute way, probably because we do not idolize him.

At any rate, as we welcome Mr. Safioleas to the Omogenia, we recommend to him and that he make a brief review of the 107-year-old history of The National Herald. We also wish him good luck in his charitable endeavors.

But he would help us, and he would especially help the members of our Church who make their donations so that he can be paid such a lofty salary, if he would enlighten us about the need that is served by the maintenance of a Communications Department of the Archdiocese with offices in New York and Athens, with its paid-in-gold Director, Department of Communications.

Are the congregations of our Archdiocese expanding into Greece – and Turkey – and we do not know about it?
But the issue is certainly not… Safioleas. Not even if the Archdiocese were to support the Omogenia’s newspaper with the offering of Paschal wishes after all.

And you should not think that Pascal Greetings cost thousands. I inform you that the Archdiocese usually just places two half-page ads.

The issue is whether the ‘Chief Communications Director’ of the Archdiocese should be based in Athens, and whether he honors our Archbishop as his representative…but it is still obvious that Mr. Safioleas wants to punish us. Nice.

But why punish us? Because we still support the Archbishop, despite his stumbles, with the hope and desire that he will find his footing, even almost three years after his enthronement, for his own good and the good of our Archdiocese?

Or does our Archbishop believe that the ‘versatile’ Safioleas can play the role of Saint Peter for him, that is, that he holds the keys to the gateway of paradise?


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